Marc Ross Daily: So how good do you want to be?

MRD July.png

So how good do you want to be?

Marc Ross Daily
August 20, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here


✔️ Brazil sends troops to Venezuela border after clashes

✔️ Trump lawyers don’t know what Mueller’s team has been told

✔️ US, China plot roadmap to resolve trade dispute by November

✔️ ‘Made in Cambodia’ 

✔️ Today: The 35th annual MTV Video Music


So how good do you want to be?

Best in the city?

Best in the county?

Best in the state?

Best in the nation?

Best in the hemisphere?

Best in the world?

Make a choice and execute accordingly.

-Marc A. Ross | Brigadoon Founder + TLC


Venezuelan crisis escalates as economic plans fuel tensions: WSJ reports, the exodus of Venezuelans gained pace as the government’s plans to address the collapsing economy fueled anxiety, while tensions grew in neighboring countries that have strained to absorb refugees.

WP: Maduro has a plan to fix Venezuela’s inflation — which may make things worse

"Maduro late Friday outlined a dramatic effort to curb inflation that has been spiralling toward 1 million percent, raising the minimum wage by more than 3,000 percent and officially devaluing the already nearly worthless bolívar by more than 90 percent."

Bloomberg: Venezuela's 95% devaluation adds to turmoil after drone attack

Bloomberg - Editorial: Venezuela’s crack-up is accelerating

"The country’s neighbors — and the world — should prepare for the worst."

AFP: Brazil sends troops to Venezuela border after clashes

More than 1 million people have left Venezuela since 2015.

US-China commercial relations: Wang Shouwen, China's vice minister for commerce, is slated to visit the United States for trade discussions Aug. 22-23. Wang's visit will mark the first government-to-government talks in two months.

The talks will be hosted by the Treasury Department's under secretary for international affairs, Davis Malpass.

WSJ: US, China plot road map to resolve trade dispute by November

"Chinese and US negotiators are mapping out talks to try to end their trade standoff ahead of planned meetings between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at multilateral summits in November, said officials in both nations."

US business ‘friends’ staying out of trade war as they try to push China to act, sources say: SCMP reports, Beijing’s lack of progress on promised reforms said to undermine support from American business community in China.

Beijing orders banks to boost lending to exporters: FT reports, the move comes ahead of a critical week of trade talks as Chinese stocks and currency wilt.

Robert Z. Lawrence: Trump's trade war with China has everyone confused. Here's what America's president really wants.

"When it comes to trade policy, the White House has arguably set a new record for its inconsistency and chaos."

Hiroyuki Akita: US-China trade war is battle for tech hegemony in disguise

"Washington fears loss of both economic supremacy and security" 

FP: Botched CIA communications system helped blow cover of Chinese agents

"The number of informants executed in the debacle is higher than initially thought." 

Taiwan independence: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen asserted the island's independence during a speech in Los Angeles last Monday, marking the first time in 15 years that a Taiwanese leader has made a political speech on US soil.

Taiwan's Tsai makes historic trip to NASA space center: Nikkei reports, US welcomes island's leader to Houston facility in snub of Beijing.

RIP: Kofi Annan

Nobel prizewinning diplomat was the first black African to head the UN.

Canada’s auto capital caught in crossfire of trade dispute: WSJ reports, in Windsor, Ontario, angst is rising that the border town’s ties to the U.S. auto industry, already strained by steel tariffs, could soon be ruptured by Trump’s threatened tariffs on Canadian-made cars.

OTD: In 1882 Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in E Flat Major, Op. 49 — commissioned to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Russia’s victory over Napoleon in 1812 — received its premiere in Moscow.

Superdry founder gives $1.28 million to anti-Brexit campaign: AP reports, the co-founder of the fashion brand Superdry said Sunday he has donated 1 million pounds ($1.28 million) to a group seeking a new referendum on Britain’s departure from the European Union, as the U.K. government prepares to publish its assessment of the impact of leaving the bloc without an agreement on future relations.

Guardian: Italy's crumbling infrastructure under scrutiny after bridge collapse

"Construction boom of 1960s led to mafia involvement and use of cheap materials to boost profits" 

Brigadoon Scotland 2018 = Nov. 11-13, 2018


NYT: White House Counsel, Don McGahn, has cooperated extensively in Mueller inquiry

"For a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client is unusual, but Mr. McGahn views his role as protecting the presidency, not the president."

Trump lawyers don’t know what Mueller’s team has been told: NYT reports, although Mr. Trump’s lawyers said that they were confident that the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, had said nothing injurious to the president, the lapse has fueled concerns.

NYT: Cohen is being investigated for loans in excess of $20 million

"Any criminal charges against Mr. Cohen, which could be filed by the end of the month, would deal a significant blow to the president."

Election 2018: There are 43 Republican seats now without an incumbent on the ballot. That's more than one out of every six Republicans in the House — a record in at least a century.

Election 2020: 40 percent of New Hampshire Republicans—say a 2020 GOP primary for Trump “would be a good thing.” That’s the finding of the latest New Hampshire Journal poll, 18 months ahead of the New Hampshire presidential primary.
@costareports: Kasich's political shop just sent out this email: "Polling has also shown Governor Kasich to be a threat to the Trump in New Hampshire and elsewhere. For this reason, the RNC is already taking steps to rig the Party’s nominating process in 2020."

Trump redefined what's possible in presidential politics. Enter Michael Avenatti: LAT reports, the pugnacious Newport Beach attorney is following an improbable path blazed by his nemesis in chief, testing the waters in early-voting Iowa and New Hampshire.

SCOTUS: Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin on September 4.

For McCaskill, re-election may rest with vote on Supreme Court nominee: WSJ reports, Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, is facing pressure at home to back Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and pressure from outside groups she’s relying on for money to oppose him.

HBD: Larry Kudlow, economic adviser to Trump, director of the National Economic Council, 71

Fewer Americans uproot themselves for a new job: WSJ reports, fewer Americans are moving around the country to pursue new work opportunities, as better job prospects near home and changing family ties make people less willing to uproot their lives.

LAT: Trump backed 'space force' after months of lobbying by officials with ties to aerospace industry


Google in China: More than 1,000 Google employees signed a letter to company executives criticizing the alleged development of a censored search and news service for the China market. The employees are demanding greater transparency in internal decision making so that they are able to make "ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment."

Bloomberg: China purges 40 officials in widening vaccine fallout

Uber autonomous
: Since a self-driving Uber car killed a pedestrian in March, the company’s executives have been divided over its autonomous vehicle efforts.

Tesla short-sellers sitting on profits of $1.2bn: FT reports, bets against the carmaker’s shares have been lucrative since Musk tweeted buyout plan.

Trade war strains America Inc's factories in China: Reuters reports, Larry Sloven arrived in southern China three decades ago. Since then, he has exported millions of dollars of goods, ranging from power tools to LED lights, to some of America's biggest retailers. That era may now be coming to an end.

Bloomberg: ‘Made in Cambodia’ may become new fashion label with tariffs hitting China

Global luxury brands again chase China's young, rich and spendthrift
: Reuters reports, global luxury brands from Prada to LVMH are investing in China for the first time since a crackdown on conspicuous spending five years ago, focusing on smaller, less developed cities even as the world's second-largest economy slows.

Bloomberg: Benettons go from preachers to pariahs after bridge disaster

"For half a century, Italy’s Benetton family has preached compassion through eye-popping ads for its eponymous clothing line... But now the Benettons themselves are the focus of public outrage after at least 43 people died when Genoa’s Morandi Bridge collapsed, threatening part of the family’s other, much more profitable business running airports, turnpikes and roadside diners from Santiago to Rome."

CBC: Tim Hortons hopes to rebuild its brand with better lid, new marketing campaign

"The only people who are going to be pissed off are dry cleaners and car-washing companies. They will wash fewer shirts and fewer cars."


WSJ: Late to the driverless revolution

"America’s car industry dismissed the potential of autonomous driving for years as tech companies plunged ahead. Now Detroit is racing to catch up."

“Being right is the enemy of staying right because it leads you to forget the way the world works.”  -- Jason Zweig

Steven A. Cohen and Matthew W. Granade: Models will run the world

"The software revolution has transformed business. What’s next? Processes that constantly improve themselves without need of human intervention."

Louis Hyman: It’s not technology that’s disrupting our jobs

"The insecure nature of work is a result of decisions by corporations and policymakers." 


BO: “Crazy Rich Asians” made its debut at No. 1 in North American theaters over the weekend.

Today: The 35th annual MTV Video Music awards take place in New York.

HBD: Amy Adams, actress, Enchanted (2007), American Hustle (2013), 44


U2 - With Or Without You (U2 At The BBC)


AFP: 'We made incredible mistakes': Mourinho fumes as United crash

@BleacherReport: How soccer became the "biggest sport in Atlanta" thanks to the city's black community — including Waka Flocka Flame and 2 Chainz 

LAT: Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza, his body broken by one fateful fall, is holding on for dear life

AFP: Djokovic downs Federer to win long-sought Cincinnati crown

: The preseason college football AP Top 25 will be released at 12:00 noon ET.

Oil Shocks, Venezuela, Apple, 5G, Silicon Valley, Exuberance, Google, Cruising

MRD July.png

Oil Shocks, Venezuela, Apple, 5G, Silicon Valley, Exuberance, Google, Cruising

Marc Ross Daily
August 7, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here


✔️ Oil shocks changed the auto industry; tariffs could change it again

✔️ More than 1 million people have left Venezuela since 2015

✔️ Apple could be used as a 'bargaining chip' in the trade war

✔️ 5G Coming to India by 2022

✔️ Trump's ever-changing reasons for tariffs

✔️ How ‘hackers, founders, and freaks’ built Silicon Valley

✔️ Don’t dismiss the humble acquaintance

✔️ "Enthusiasm. Energy. Exuberance.”

✔️ Google increases its foothold into America's daily routines

✔️ Cruising is a $126 billion industry with plenty of room to grow.


US-China commercial relations: Last night I spoke with Elaine Reyes (CGTN America - China 24) on the state of US-China commercial relations, tariffs, global supply chains, Election 2018, Apple, and Starbucks. You can watch the clip here:


Oil shocks changed the auto industry; tariffs could change it again: To understand why auto tariffs are such a contentious issue today, it helps to go back to the 1970s—with US carmakers dominating the country’s auto market, Japan’s export growth on the horizon, and impending conflict in the Middle East.

@AFP: #BREAKING Brazil closes border to Venezuelans after mass crossings: official

More than 1 million people have left Venezuela since 2015.

Chile has become the first South American country to legally ban the widespread commercial use of plastic bags.

France overheating: France has been forced to shut down four nuclear reactors to stop them overheating as temperatures across Europe soar.

Scottish nationalism akin to a religion, Judge Frances Eccles rules: The Times reports, support for Scottish independence is a philosophical belief akin to a religion, a judge has ruled. Judge Frances Eccles said that believing in a separate Scottish state should be protected under equality laws. She was ruling on a case brought by Chris McEleny, the Scottish National Party group leader on Inverclyde council, who claims that the Ministry of Defence, his employer, unfairly targeted him because of his support for independence.

China will endure: China is prepared to endure a protracted trade war with the US. that is designed to “crush” its economic sovereignty and force it to become “a US economic vassal,” state media has said. Bloomberg reports that the editorial in the nationalist Global Times was published two days after Beijing released details of tariffs ranging from 5 to 25 percent that will be levied on 5,207 kinds of imports from America.

CNBC: Apple could be used as a 'bargaining chip' in the trade war, Chinese state media warns

"Apple has benefited from cheap labor and strong supply chain in China which has helped it boost profit and get to a $1 trillion valuation, the state-backed People's Daily said."

AP: China tightens controls to slow currency’s fall

The Philippines
 announces a $100 million digital financial hub in Northern Luzon region - known as Crypto Valley of Asia, the area hopes to attract crypto startups and other fintech firms.

Bloomberg: 5G coming to India by 2022 after pit stops in Korea, China

Since 2015, China has outspent the US by $24 billion in 5G infrastructure, potentially creating a "tsunami" that will be difficult to catch up with, according to a new study by Deloitte.


Today: Primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri,, and Washington plus a special election in Ohio (OH-12). 

LAT: For years, Richard Gates was at Paul Manafort's side. On Monday, he began testifying against him

CNN: West Virginia to introduce mobile phone voting for midterm elections

Chinese smartphones
: The DNC warned Democrats running in the upcoming midterm elections not to use products produced by Chinese tech firms ZTE or Huawei after learning that a Democratic organization was considering purchasing ZTE phones for its staff.

Senators: US should push IMF over China economic expansion: Roll Call reports, a bipartisan group of senators is calling on the Trump administration to counter China's economic expansion as the lawmakers fear that Beijing plans to leverage its foreign investments and lending for infrastructure projects into strategic military footholds.

Observer: How to win a trade war? A group of 200 CEOs havea few ideas for Trump

"Last week, the Business Roundtable (BRT), a multi-industry group consisting of 200 CEOs of America’s largest companies, published a memo with recommendations of what the Trump administration should pursue in the trade negotiation with China."

Weekly Standard: Trump's ever-changing reasons for tariffs

California wildfires: The Mendocino Fire Complex exploded in size over the weekend to become the state's 2nd-largest on record — behind last year's Thomas Fire - scorching more than 283,000 acres in 11 days.

How Americans get their news: Gallup and Knight Foundation’s 2017 Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy

- The only media outlets preferred by Republicans over Democrats are Fox, Fox Business and Breitbart.

- Most entertainment outlets listed, like Comedy Central, HBO
andMTV, are much more widely favored by Democrats. 


Big Four target Asia: The Big Four accountancy firms are expanding in Asia, threatening the ascendancy of established law firms in one of the world’s most important markets, reports. KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers are launching new ventures or expanding existing legal offerings in Hong Kong and Singapore, by recruiting new staff and competing with local firms for profitable legal work in fields such as mergers and acquisitions, regulation and capital markets. 

Thomas Cook, the man, organized his first trip in 1841, and the travel company that bears his name is still going. 

MoviePass will now limit customers to three movies per month. The old policy: One movie per day.


SoftBank plans to launch a $5 billion Asia fund, half of which will go to Indian startups.

Bloomberg: Google welcome in China if it obeys laws, state media says

Airbnb for Work is now being used by 700,000 businesses, nearly tripling April 2017's total of 250,000 clients.

Facebook has asked large US banks to share their customers' detailed financial information as part of an effort to offer new services to the social media platform's users

Peloton aspires to be as big and well-known as the NordicTrack and has cracked the holy grail of subscription media.

WeWork has hired ex-Salesforce and AppDynamics exec Kendall Collins to oversee its technology as it continues to grow its “Powered by We” business, through which it helps companies redesign and even manage their offices.

Blooms Business Club = a London coworking space offers a “female-first” collaborative atmosphere

The Verge: T-Mobile launches a cheaper unlimited phone plan for just the 'essentials'

KFC has a new Colonel Sanders = George Costanza

Uber’s India based rival, Ola, is headed to Europe.

Tesla has begun hiring for its new Shanghai factory.

‘NewTV’ startup closes $1 billion, all major studios among investors: Variety reports, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman have successfully sold Hollywood on their ambitious plans to create a kind of next-generation HBO or Netflix — with bite-size original programming designed for smartphones. Now the question is whether their “NewTV” venture will deliver something consumers will actually pay for.

MV = Mobile Video


Chinese cars top auto sales in Chile: Chinese-made cars for the first time topped auto sales in Chile in the first half of the year.

Voice powered purchasing: Only two percent of Amazon Alexa users have bought anything using their voice in 2018. 

Whenever I find an Alexa in a friend's home, I promptly place orders for snowmobiles, air conditioners, jelly beans, and bubble bath soap. It's funny when all this stuff arrives unexpectedly.

Hearables: The explosive growth of their AI voice assistants has Google, Apple, and Amazon racing to put your entire smartphone in an earpiece.

Audio = Huge

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware (documentary)

Cruising is a $126 billion industry with plenty of room to grow. The Cruise Lines International Association says that only about 20 percent of Americans have taken cruises, and the number is smaller for Europeans and smaller still for Asians. 

Google is in talks with Tencent and Inspur to bring its cloud business to China.

@THRGlobal: Disney’s #ChristopherRobin won't get China release due to a crackdown on the Winnie the Pooh character

Attention economy: Google’s YouTube, Google and Waze combined to account for 34.2% of all time on digital media in June, according to Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser.

Google increases its foothold into America's daily routines - it's all about routine and habits.


Enthusiasm. Energy. Exuberance.” -- Tom Peters

@SBNation: LeBron will produce a documentary series for Showtime called 'Shut Up and Dribble,' according to @Variety

The Atlantic: How to make friends, according to science

To begin, don’t dismiss the humble acquaintance.

@AdamMGrant: On average, it takes 50 hours of interaction to go from acquaintance to friend and 200 hours to get to close friend.

Real friendships rarely happen overnight. They build over time through sharing moments of joy and moments of heartache.


How ‘hackers, founders, and freaks’ built Silicon Valley: Recode Decode guest Adam Fisher’s new oral history is called “Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley.”

So not about adoptions....

Marc Ross Daily June.png

So not about adoptions....

Marc Ross Daily
August 6, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here


✔️ Saudi Arabia said it has expelled Canada’s ambassador

✔️ Drone attack failed to President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela

✔️ China deploys huge police force to prevent fraud protest

✔️ Trump admitted, on the record, that he misled the American people

✔️ Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals


Can you do it 3x times a day?

I am moving towards checking email 3x a day, but working as a comms/public affairs/ thought leadership operative I find this to be a challenge as my job requires to be on and able to respond to news developments and press requests in hyper-timely fashion.

But clearly email is a hot mess, and old technology and a total time suck — new thinking and new application of this tool are needed.

Any ideas, please share via email.


KSA v CAN: Saudi Arabia said it has expelled Canada’s ambassador in the kingdom and recalled its own envoy from Ottowa after Canada expressed concern over recent arrests of civil-society and women’s rights activists in the kingdom.

Drone assassination plot: Venezuelan authorities said they arrested six suspects tied to an alleged plan to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro. The drone attack that failed to kill Maduro of unfolded on live TV and in front of many witnesses.

Russia diplomacy: Steven Seagal was appointed by the Russian Foreign Ministry as a special representative to improve relations with the US.

Quake: An earthquake in Indonesia killed more than 90 people.

Nikkei: India becomes battlefield for Chinese smartphone makers

China depletes its ammunition belt with latest tariff threat
: Nikkei reports, China has threatened new tariffs on $60 billion in American products amid signs of Xi running out of options as pressure on him to act mounts in a particularly sensitive political season. The inclusion of American liquefied natural gas in the top tier for an additional 25% of duties shows just how badly relations have deteriorated since Trump's visit to Beijing last November.

China deploys huge police force to prevent fraud protest: AFP reports, hundreds of police patrolled the streets of Beijing's financial district Monday as Chinese authorities clamped down on a planned protest against losses sustained in risky peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms. Enraged over financial losses, petitioners told AFP they had come from every corner of China -- from the southernmost province of Guangdong to the far-west region of Xinjiang -- in hopes that by gathering en masse, the government would recognise their grievances and take action.

China meets Trump’s tariff hardball with pledge to endure: Bloomberg reports, China is prepared for a “protracted war” and doesn’t fear sacrificing short-term economic interests, according to an editorial in the nationalist Global Times on Sunday evening. “Considering the unreasonable U.S. demands, a trade war is an act that aims to crush China’s economic sovereignty, trying to force China to be a US economic vassal.”

OTD: In 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved.

No-deal risk: Prime Minister Theresa May’s ministers are ratcheting up warnings of Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal. And they’re blaming Brussels, which Trade Secretary Liam Fox says is putting ideology over the “economic well-being of the people of Europe.”


NYT: Dirt on Clinton was focus of ’16 meeting, Trump admits

Trump said that a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between campaign aides and a Kremlin-connected lawyer was designed to “get information on an opponent.”

Oh really?!?

Trump admitted, on the record, that he misled the American people about the infamous Russia meeting in Trump Tower.

Trump says 2016 Russian meeting was related to Clinton: FT reports, President’s tweets clash with initial explanations over why his son had met with lawyer.

Executive time: Trump is on a working vacation in Bedminster, NJ, through August 13.

Colbert King: Follow the Russian money, and tighten your seatbelt

Poll: Democratic congressional aides surveyed by CQ Roll Call last month said the party should replace Nancy Pelosi as leader whether Democrats win a House majority in November or not.

OH-12: Tomorrow's special House election in Ohio is huge - at least for political junkies as a tool to sort out what might happen this fall.

Republican Troy Balderson will face off against Democrat Danny O'Connor for a solidly red House seat. 

The RNC has opened two offices in the district, launched a $500,000-plus get-out-the-vote effort, and dispatched one of its top officials, Bob Paduchik, who ran Trump's 2016 Ohio campaign. 

Columbus Dispatch: Balderson won't address Kasich claim he did not invite Trump to central Ohio

GOP grumbles as Donald Trump reshapes midterm campaigns: AP reports, President Donald Trump’s strategy of becoming aggressively involved in the midterm elections is prompting concern among some Republicans who worry he’s complicating the political calculus for GOP candidates trying to outrun his popularity. Those Republicans worry their statewide candidates may rise or fall based on Trump’s standing, muddling their path to maintain control of Congress.

Bankruptcy booms for older Americans: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991. The shrinking of the social safety net includes longer waits for full Social Security benefits, the replacement of employer-provided pensions with 401(k) savings plans and more out-of-pocket spending on health care.

Chicago Tribune: In less than 7 hours, 40 shot, 4 fatally as violence rips Chicago

Privacy legislation
: US tech companies are hoping to get ahead of the public and legal fallout by working with policymakers to help shape potential new federal privacy legislation. 

NYT: Steel giants tied to Trump block tariff relief for other firms

Nucor and United States Steel, both with deep ties to Trump administration officials, have used veto power over other companies, forcing them to buy their products instead of steel from abroad.

Team Trump picking the winners and losers of the economy.

Tax cuts working for big business: America’s biggest companies are reporting some of the strongest earnings growth since the recession, boosted by lowered tax rates and a robust US economy that is fueling demand.


Indra Nooyi: PepsiCo’s longtime leader will step aside as chief executive. Nooyi serves on the board of directors of the US-China Business Council and is easily one of the world's best CEOs.

Meet PepsiCo’s next CEO: Ramon Laguarta: He is a native of Barcelona who speaks English, Spanish, French, German, Greek and Catalan. He has an MBA from Spain’s ESADE business school and worked at Chupa Chups SA, a candy company based in Spain, before joining PepsiCo in 1996.

Didi Chuxing Technology Co. will invest $1 billion in its auto-services business - vehicle leasing, refueling and car-maintenance programs - as it seeks to expand beyond ride-hailing in the world’s biggest automotive market.

Disneyflix: What some in Hollywood are calling the streaming service that Disney plans to introduce next year. 

Samsung will introduce a new Galaxy Note phone.

Roots is opening locations in Georgetown and Pentagon City Mall next week.

Strayer Inc. officially completed its $1.9 billion merger with Minneapolis-based online education giant Capella Education Co. 


The $300 million plan to farm salmon in the middle of the ocean: Bloomberg reports, the semi-submersible Ocean Farm 1 off the coast of Norway can hold 1.5 million fish.

Boston-area startups are on pace to overtake NYC venture totals: TechCrunch reports, after years of trailing New York City in total annual venture investment, Massachusetts is taking the lead in 2018. Venture investment in the Boston metro area hit $5.2 billion so far this year, on track to be the highest annual total in years. The Massachusetts numbers year-to-date are about 15 percent higher than the New York City total. 

China produces 50% of the world’s cannabis: Most of its crop is non-psychotropic hemp, used for fabrics, medicine, and recreation.

9 astronauts: Nine NASA astronauts — five of whom flew on the space shuttle — have been announced as the crew of new commercial spacecrafts built by Boeing and SpaceX. Beginning next year, these crafts will head toward the International Space Station in the first manned missions from the U.S. since the shuttle program ended seven years ago.

Omega-3 supplements: A $15 billion industry that is growing at an annual rate of 7 percent. However, an analysis of 79 studies with an aggregate 100,000 participants found omega-3 consumption has little or no effect on promoting heart health. 


AP: French master chef Joel Robuchon dies at 73

Robuchon reached a total of 32 Michelin stars in 2016 — a record— and still held 31 stars this year, including five three-star restaurants.

He started a revolution with his "Atelier" — workshop in French — model: small, intimate restaurants where diners sat at a counter surrounding the kitchen. It didn't take reservations and it didn't have tables.


Fore: Georgia Hall, a 22-year-old Englishwoman, won the Women’s British Open, her first major golf title.

LAT: Cheer, cheer for the Banana Slugs? Earwigs? Prune Packers? California teams go nuts on sports nicknames

Track and field: The European Athletics Championships begin at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Manchester United have opened talks with Bayern Munich over the potential signing of Jérôme Boateng.

Manchester City beat Chelsea 2-0 to win the Community Shield in an ominous performance for the rest of the Premier League.

ATP top 10:

1. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
2. Roger Federer (SUI)
3. Alexander Zverev (GER)
4. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
5. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 4610
6. Kevin Anderson (RSA) 4355
7. Marin Cilic (CRO)
8. Dominic Thiem (AUT)
9. John Isner (USA)
10. Novak Djokovic (SRB)


MRD July.png


Marc Ross Daily
August 3, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Business News at the Intersection of Global Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here


✔️ Russian spy found working at US embassy in Moscow

✔️ China seeks new insights on US trade strategy

✔️ Wilbur Ross brushes off harm of Trump tariffs

✔️ Apple's market cap passes $1 trillion

✔️ Woods v Mickelson match set


My podcast diary for July 2018:

09 Akimbo: Juggling

09 Recode: Adam Grant

10 Recode: Nat Geo + Insta

12 Moment: Penn Jillette

13 Akimbo: Origin Stories

13 TWIST: 833 - Whitney Sales

17 TWIST: 836 - News Roundup

17 Intercom: Elad Gil

18 Akimbo: This Stinks

19 Altucher: Robert Greene

19 VC20: Elad Gil

23 Giant Thinkers: Blair Enns

25 Moment: Seth Godin

25 Akimbo: The Mesh

26 Altucher: Seth Godin

28 Agency Advantage: Blair Enns

RevThinking : Blair Enns

31 Schmidt List: Blair Enns


LAT: As political crisis deepens in Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa named winner in presidential election

245 arrests: A Colombian drug cartel has put out a bounty of 200 million pesos (about $70K USD) on drug-sniffing police dog Sombra. The 6-year-old German shepherd has helped police detect over 2,000 kilos of cocaine hidden in suitcases, boats, and shipments of food, and officers credit her with more than 245 drug-related arrests at Colombian airports.

‘I’m totally freaked out’: Brazilians bid farewell to paradise amid strife: WSJ reports, with gun violence surging, along with pessimism about the country’s political and economic future, the number of Brazilians who are emigrating is soaring.

US, Mexico pursue NAFTA auto deal as Canada sits on sidelines: WSJ reports, senior US and Mexican officials sought to hammer out new rules for the auto trade at the center of negotiations to overhaul Nafta, while Canadian officials sat out the latest talks amid tension between Ottawa and Washington.

Guardian: Suspected Russian spy found working at US embassy in Moscow

"The Russian national had been hired by the US Secret Service and is understood to have had access to the agency’s intranet and email systems, which gave her a potential window into highly confidential material including the schedules of the president and vice-president."

Estonia has become the first country in the world to offer free public transport to all residents.

Theresa May to tell Emmanuel Macron that Chequers plan is 'mutually beneficial': Telegraph reports, PM May will try to convince Emmanuel Macron on Friday that her Chequers plan for Brexit will be “mutually beneficial” to Britain and France as she received official notice that their meeting is “not a negotiation”. The Prime Minister has cut short her Italian holiday to visit Mr Macron at his island retreat, the Fort de Brégançon, as she steps up attempts to engage directly with EU leaders, sidestepping Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Theresa May consigned to Fort Brégançon fortress hated by French leaders: The Times reports, when the British came in sight of Fort Brégançon in 1793, they were attacked by French revolutionary forces. Theresa May will be hoping for a warmer welcome today when she arrives to see President Macron in the imposing but somewhat cramped residence where he plans to spend the next two weeks. Etiquette will probably require Mrs May to compliment the French president on his Mediterranean retreat. In practice, however, the state-owned fort has never been much loved by those who stay there.

China’s indebted conglomerates pile into anti-poverty push: FT reports, villagers say parts of Xi’s project are flawed, as companies seek favour with Beijing.

WSJ: Xi’s right-hand man is message-bearer in China-US trade dispute

Wang Qishan serves behind the scenes as a troubleshooter and a loyal lieutenant who has ties to influential Americans.

China seeks new insights on US trade strategy as it plans next moves: SCMP reports, advisers say Beijing is redoubling efforts to understand the Trump administration’s thinking as it explores potential to restart trade negotiations.

China has no idea how to play Trump: In the past, Beijing has reacted to economic challenges by opening its credit spigot and letting the money flow, and that’s what it has started doing this time too even though the mess from the last crisis is yet to be cleared. SCMP - Fraser Howie

China's top diplomat: He encouraged the Trump administration to "calm down" amid escalating tariff threats, saying increased rhetoric will not lead to results. Wang Yi said at a forum in Singapore that a US campaign to ratchet up pressure on Beijing will not "have any effect," Reuters reported. 

China ready: The Middle Kingdom said it was ready to retaliate against the latest threat by the US to raise tariffs on its goods. The Trump administration said this week that it’s considering increasing the proposed tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent.

Trump zeroes in on China after EU trade truce: FT reports, US president moves to resolve other disputes but ups ante in battle with Beijing.

ZTE loaded up with powerful Washington lobbyists to convince lawmakers to abandon penalties that would have decimated the Chinese telecom company, according to The New York Times.


FT: US tech faces big risks from Trump’s China trade war


Bloomberg: A record number of Democratic challengers are outraising GOP opponents

CAFE standards change
: The Trump administration said this morning it wants to freeze fuel efficiency standards for vehicles made from 2022 to 2025 at current levels and revoke a Clean Air Act waiver that allows California to set its own GHG specifications.

USA Today: Chinese tariffs muck up market for US pig parts and hog farmers

Wilbur Ross brushes off harm of Trump tariffs
: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday defended the Trump administration's latest threat to ramp up tariffs on China, saying it would not lead to disaster for the U.S. economy. "It's not something that's going to be cataclysmic," he said in an interview with Fox Business Network.

Poll: Fewer than 1 in 3 Americans think NAFTA is beneficial

Poll: 71% of business owners want more China tariffs

Trump donor agreed to pay Cohen $10 million for nuclear project push: WSJ reports, a major donor to President Trump agreed to pay $10 million to the president’s then-personal attorney if he successfully helped obtain funding for a nuclear-power project, including a $5 billion loan from the US government, according to people familiar with the matter. 

US intelligence officials warn of ‘pervasive’ Russian efforts to disrupt 2018 elections: WSJ reports, senior intelligence officials described Russian efforts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections as deep, real and ongoing, showcasing their efforts to combat a threat President Trump has repeatedly dismissed. 

NYT: Russian threat to elections ‘is real,’ Trump officials say

FT: US spy chiefs warn of ‘pervasive’ Russian meddling

Russia is "a keyboard click away" from mounting a more serious attack on the upcoming US midterm elections than it did during the 2016 campaign, according to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

@nytpolitics: Blackburn and Bredesen advance in Tennessee Senate race


Hyatt Hotels, which has a global portfolio of more than 700 hotels, announced a new loyalty alliance with London-based Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) — a collection of more than 500 independent luxury hotels from around the world.

Apple's market cap passes $1 trillion with a new all-time high share price of $208.38 - first public American company to reach the milestone.


Sonos debuts on the Nasdaq at $16 per share after pricing at $15.

CBS stays mum on Moonves investigation during earnings call.

Netflix is a product and technology company: Netflix's product expertise is at the heart of everything it does, including why and how it makes its original content. This culture is easily overlooked, but doing so can be fatal. Netflix is as much a tech and product company as Facebook, Google or Amazon.

Facebook searching for its next CMO.

Kara Swisher: The expensive education of Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley

"They have weaponized social media. They have weaponized the First Amendment. They have weaponized civic discourse. And they have weaponized, most of all, politics."

Staffers around the country working for State AGs are circulating this commentary plotting their legal arguments.

The producers at 60 Minutes have this tapped to the planning board.

This easily could be a multi-100 billion dollar changing commentary piece that will radically change social media and Facebook's fortune.

Google is working on a search app tailored, and censored, for China. The project has sparked a furious internal staff debate.

Molson Coors is the latest big brewer to officially enter Canada’s budding legal cannabis industry. Molson Coors has partnered with Canadian-based The Hydropothecary Corporation to make booze-free, cannabis-infused beverages as soon as recreational weed is legalized in Canada this October.

Baby food on the blockchain: Nestlé is joining the effort to track food with the technology.

Snapchat is introducing speech recognition filters: Users will be able to trigger lenses and music with their voice.

Voice will be huge - plan accordingly.

Fiat Chrysler has to turn Jeep around to compete in China: WSJ reports, new Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley once promised that China would be its global engine of growth. But the company’s first-half performance there was one of the weakest for any international automaker.

Burberry is changing its logo for first time in two decades

Designer Tisci revealed the new brand on his Instagram feed


Why Starbucks’s plastic straw ban might not help the environment: Getting rid of straws is a step toward ending plastic waste–but if it just involves replacing them with hard-to-recycle plastic lids, it may not do much good at all.

Poll: 67% of US adults support companies' phaseout of plastic straws

Check yourself: Around 73% of millennial US bank customers say they're open to trying financial products from a tech company they already use.

Media consumption: The latest numbers from Nielsen show that on average American adults spend 11.1 hours every day consuming media, up 19 minutes over the previous quarter. 

-- 92 percent of adults listen to radio in an average week

-- 88 percent watch television

-- 79 percent mess around on a smartphone

-- 60 percent on a computer

-- 15 percent on a game console

What is psychographics? Understanding the 'dark arts’ of marketing that brought down Cambridge Analytica: Although it came to light with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and 2016 US presidential election, psychographic marketing may be even more effective in commercial rather than political advertising. And it's already more prevalent than you might think.

Bloomberg: Internal combustion engines may have 40 more years in the tank

I saw longer - two generations


"Ozark" season 2 drops August 31.

The stakes are high for 'Crazy Rich Asians' -- and that's the point: Hollywood Reporter writes, the new film's creators turned down a "gigantic payday" at Netflix to ensure the first Asian-American-focused studio movie in 25 years would be seen in theaters and, if all goes well, reshape the Hollywood landscape: "The biggest stage with the biggest stakes -- that's what we asked for."

Fields Medal: Like the Nobel Prize for math but awarded only once every four years, and only to mathematicians age 40 and younger — new winner announced: Peter Scholze, Caucher Birkar, Alessio Figalli and Akshay Venkatesh.

What does ‘off the record’ really mean?

A primer on the kinds of conversations journalists have with sources.

How chyrons took on a life of their own: In the age of Trump, cable news banners have become a medium for presidential fact-checking. 

HBD: Tony Bennett, singer, I Left My Heart in San Francisco (1962), 92

Deadline: Fox, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon win hot package on multi-million dollar theft of McDonald’s Monopoly Game


The invention of online travel and how it changed the future of travel forever: Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal — accompanied by recorded interviews with some of the earliest players in online travel — discusses his Definitive Oral History of Online Travel. The conversation includes back-room drama, untold tales, victory laps, and clips from players including Expedia founder Rich Barton, Priceline founder Jay Walker, former Expedia, Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and TripAdvisor CEO and co-founder Stephen Kaufer.


Afghan Whigs - Brother Woodrow, Closing Prayer  


OTD: In 1936 the American athlete Jesse Owens won the first of his four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.

$20 an hour: Parents are hiring Fortnite coaches to help their kids get better at the popular video game — with some shelling out up to $20 an hour for a coach.
HBD: Tom Brady, American football quarterback, 41

Golf: Woods v Mickelson match set for Thanksgiving in Las Vegas

Preseason Amway Coaches Poll:

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Ohio State
4. Georgia
5. Oklahoma
6. Washington
7. Wisconsin
8. Miami (Fla.)
9. Penn State
10. Auburn
14. Michigan

"Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion."

Marc Ross Daily June.png

"Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion." 

Marc Ross Daily
August 2, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

Marc Ross Daily  = Global Business News at the Intersection of Politics + Policy + Profits

Subscribe here


✔️ Trump looks to more than double tariffs on China imports

✔️ Defense bill aims to counter China

✔️ Corporate Japan's capital spending plans reach 38-year high

✔️ “This election is very simple. It’s an up-or-down vote on impeachment.”

✔️ Kroger is launching a grocery delivery service dubbed Kroger Ship


OTD: In 1990 Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait

Troops open fire on protesters as election divides Zimbabwe: The Times reports, deadly violence erupted on the streets of Zimbabwe’s capital yesterday as troops used automatic weapons, tear gas and water cannons in a brutal crackdown on crowds protesting against the overwhelming victory of the ruling party in parliamentary elections.

France: Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, meets Nathalie Loiseau, the French minister for European affairs.

Politico: Trump tariffs sting farmers, businesses from sea to shining sea

The Times: US ‘blackmail’ on tariffs will not work, says China

Trump threatens to double tariffs on Chinese imports, but stops short of actually doing it: LAT reports, a week after moving to ease trade tensions with the European Union, the administration said it would consider imposing a 25% tariff on certain Chinese imports, up from the 10% Trump proposed last month. Senior administration officials on Wednesday expressed frustration that China has responded to US tariffs with retaliation rather than capitulation.

“We have been very clear about the specific changes China should undertake,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers andbusinesses.”

US mulls boosting China tariffs to 25%: WSJ reports, the White House, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Beijing and prod China into further negotiations, said it would consider more than doubling its proposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25%.

Chinese goods may face higher tariffs as US anger grows: NYT reports, the administration said it would consider raising tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products to 25 percent from 10 percent as China’s currency declines.

Trump looks to more than double tariffs on China imports: FT reports, US president calls on trade rep to consider increase to 25%.

Trump officials consider more than doubling tariffs on Chinese goods: LAT reports, the deliberations could be a sign that Trump is looking to intensify pressure in the trade standoff with Beijing.

Defense bill aims to counter China: WSJ reports, Congress passed a defense-policy bill that some lawmakers say is tougher on China than any in history, as a bipartisan movement to confront Beijing gathers steam.

Chinese investor gives up purchase of German toolmaker: Nikkei reports, Merkel government was set to veto deal on national security concerns.

West begins to close door on Chinese investment: FT reports, Beijing perceives it is harder to do US deals — and that Europe is also tightening up.

Massive US defense policy bill passes without strict China measures: Reuters reports, the US Senate passed a $716 billion defense policy bill on Wednesday, backing President Donald Trump's call for a bigger, stronger military and sidestepping a potential battle with the White House over technology from major Chinese firms.

Nikkei: Corporate Japan's capital spending plans reach 38-year high

Outlays estimated at $176 billion, driven by electric vehicles and construction

Nikkei: Aussie beef prices rise as China loses appetite for US meat

's population is growing at the fastest pace of any major developed country. Head count will hit 25 million this month—an incredible three decades sooner than the government had predicted in 2005.

Mike Pompeo's plan to deny China exclusive rights to the Indo-Pacific region: The National Interest reports, Mike Pompeo says he wants a "free and open" Indo-Pacific region. Australia is the security key to making that a reality. 

Madrid begins talks with Catalan separatist leaders: AFP reports, Spain's new Socialist government held talks with Catalonia's separatist executive on Wednesday in the first such meeting in seven years as tensions eased but sharp divergences remained over the region's self-determination drive.


"Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn’t matter because there was No Collusion." -- DJT

End it now: Trump urged AG Sessions to end the Russia investigation “right now,” renewing public pressure on the nation’s top law-enforcement official to halt the probe.

Trump calls on Sessions to stop Mueller's Russia probe, raising specter of attempted obstruction: LAT reports, the tweet was the president's most explicit post or statement to date seemingly aimed at getting his attorney general to end the probe.

Is a POTUS tweet an opinion or an order?!?

WP: Mueller offers to limit investigators’ questions for Trump in special counsel’s latest effort to secure presidentialinterview

Today: Trump will attend a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Bob Woodward’s "FEAR: Inside the Trump White House," launching on September 11 is No. 1 on Amazon.

He's back: Barack Obama dipped into November's midterm election fight for the first time on Wednesday, endorsing 81 Democrats in 14 states with a focus on young, diverse candidates and lower-level races.

Not featured: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Comstock, running for reelection, won’t vote for a shutdown no matter how much Trump wants one: WP reports, Rep. Barbara Comstock said she supports President Trump’s border wall and almost always votes with her party, but the vulnerable Republican’s Northern Virginia district is home to tens of thousands of federal workers.

As the bizarre QAnon group emerges, Trump rallies go from nasty to dangerous: WP reports, hostility toward the media is nothing new. But the latest rally was attended by deranged devotees of a supposed government agent who supporters believe is waging war against the “deep state” that threatens the Trump presidency.

SBUX, Schultz, Schmidt: More buzz that Steve Schmidt will advise a presidential bid by his longtime client, former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz, or another Democratic candidate in 2020.

Steve Schmidt will for sure work on a 2020 presidential campaign - book it.

Election 2020: Biden leads Trump in early 2020 match-up

A plurality of registered voters, 44 percent, said they’d choose Biden in the 2020 presidential election, while 37 percent of voters said they would vote for Trump.

Election 2020: "The best way to win in 2020 is to win in 2018. The goal is to make those people who are presidential-year voters into midterm-election voters." -- White House Political Director Bill Stepien

Election 2020 + Mueller: “We look at the front pages of daily key in-state newspapers every day. Compare and contrast that with what The Washington Post or New York Times is saying. It’s not on the 6 o’clock or 10 o’clock news every night. That’s what matters.” -- White House Political Director Bill Stepien

Inside the Trump 2020 campaign’s wild attempt to “Keep America Great”: Vanity Fair reports, the president is running his re-election campaign precisely the way he governs—playing three opposing power centers off each other, and listening mainly to his own instincts. It’s going to get ugly, and soon. “We’re going to call them out,” says Steve Bannon. “Kirsten Gillibrand, show us what you got. Elizabeth Warren? Kamala Harris? Howard Schultz? He’s going to cut through these guys like a scythe through grass.”

“This election is very simple. It’s an up-or-down vote on impeachment.” -- Steve Bannon

“Republicans will come home. Dude, you got Gorsuch and Kavanaugh back to back." At a minimum, Kavanaugh’s nomination "will ensure they don’t vote for Democrats.” -- Steve Bannon

Trump is doing what he loves most: running for president. His re-election effort is typically Trumpian: sprawling, disjointed, and bursting with confidence.

Average approval among the other political party:

Eisenhower 49%
Kennedy 49%
Johnson 40%
Nixon 34%
Ford 36%
Carter 30%
Reagan 31%

GWH Bush 44%
Clinton 27%
GW Bush 23%
Obama 14%
Trump 7%

HT Pew

US Treasury embraces fintech: The US Treasury Department has issued a 222-page report that urges flexible regulation of financial-technology companies. The report's recommendations include support for regulatory sandboxes to let startups experiment.


Facebook has announced new tools that tallies time spent and nudges you when it’s time for a break.

Car sales: US auto sales slowed in July as rising interest rates, higher gasoline prices and falling demand for passenger cars

LAT: Tesla losses mount to $1.5 billion so far in 2018

 will look to China for partial funding of its first factory there.

FT: Molson Coors sales go flat on North America declines

Hotel points
: Starwood Preferred Guests, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Marriott Rewards are finally combined into a single program on August 18.

Google is working on a censored search engine for China.

WhatsApp outlined plans to begin selling advertisements and charging companies a service fee for interacting with customers on the platform.

Kroger is launching a grocery delivery service dubbed Kroger Ship in Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, and Nashville.

Bloomberg: Huawei passes Apple in smartphone share for the first time

House of Fraser is teetering on the brink of collapse after a Chinese investor pulled out of a deal to buy a stake in the ailing department store and inject £70 million of funding.


Ocean plastic: More than 80% of marine plastic pollution comes from Asia

Degrading plastics emit greenhouse gases: study: AFP reports, a study in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday found that degrading plastics emit powerful greenhouse gases like methane and ethylene, and are a previously unaccounted-for source of these heat-trapping pollutants. Plastic water bottles, shopping bags, industrial plastics and food containers were all tested as part of the study.

QOTD: “It got to a point where it would be far easier to build a technology company that does marketing than to try to change a big legacy business into that.” -- Havas CEO David Jones on rethinking the traditional agency model.

What the team at a16z is reading this summer

Does packaging matter? In a world of e-commerce, brands no longer need packaging to catch shoppers' eyes. Instead, online platforms lets brands use photos, videos, user-generated content, and more to promote their goods. 

Apps mean mobile phones are for texting, not talking: The amount of time people spend talking on their mobile phones has fallen for the first time as users switch to messaging apps.


CNN will say goodbye to Anthony Bourdain with a final season this fall: LAT reports, only one episode — a trip to Kenya with W. Kamau Bell, the host of CNN’s “United Shades of America” — was completed before Bourdain’s death. It will be the last to have Bourdain’s written narration. Four others set in Manhattan’s Lower East Side — in addition to the Big Bend area of Texas along the border of Mexico, the Asturias region of Spain and Indonesia — will be completed by the directors who filmed them for the show’s production company Zero Point Zero.

The world's most beautiful libraries – in pictures: In a new Taschen book, the Italian photographer Massimo Listri travels around the world to some of the oldest libraries, revealing a treasure trove of unique and imaginative architecture.


LAT: NBA's hunt for revenue leads to gambling partnership with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas

OSU Football
: BREAKING: Ohio State has placed Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave. Ryan Day will be the team’s acting head coach during the investigation.

OTD: In 1875 Britain’s first roller-skating rink opened in Belgravia, London

FA wants Southgate to be manager for 2022 World Cup: The Times reports, the FA is set to make Gareth Southgate an offer to extend his contract as England manager until the 2022 World Cup but admits that it will not be able to compete with a top Premier League club in terms of salary.